BOERNE, Texas — Construction on the I-10 corridor from 1604 to Boerne has been going on for a few years now, and soon more will be on the way.
The Texas Department of Transportation outlined plans Wednesday night for a new project that would expand I-10 from Ralph Fair Road (FM 3351) to SH 46.
The plans include transforming the stretch of highway from four to eight lanes, which includes two general lanes and two HOV lanes.
“Between San Antonio and Boerne, it has just grown, so we want to definitely be ahead, and by expanding I-10, to address a lot of the congestion and mobility problems in this area,” said Laura Lopez, a public information officer with TxDOT.
Don Dixon has been driving the stretch of roadway for 60 years, traveling back and forth from San Antonio to his ranch outside Boerne. “I remember before the interstate was here, we drove on, which is now the access road,” he said.
Dixon has seen many changes on the stretch of I-10 over the years, and said the expansion is necessary. "I think the project is definitely needed, there’s no question about that, but I’d like to see it done faster."
Other residents shared Dixon’s concerns after enduring years of construction for multiple projects along I-10, including another expansion project from La Cantera Boulevard to Ralph Fair Road (FM 3351).
“This project started in April 2014 and the board over there shows the last estimated completion date is going to be the spring of 2022, that’s eight years,” said resident Randy Hurwitz. "That’s more than twice the time to win World War II."
Hurwitz said the growth does support an expansion project but is concerned with how long the new project will take before completion. “We’re a little skeptical. We’ve gone this far for so long, and we’re going to go through it for another two to three years, and now once we do that, then they’re going to start another project on top of it,” he said.
Lopez said TxDOT hasn’t selected a start or end date yet, and won't until they are able to secure funding. She said they are “shovel-ready” to start working on it as soon as funding comes through.
“This is definitely a growing area, and we’ve got a lot of construction, and we ask the public that you please be patient during the construction,” she said.
Another concern is with safety along the corridor during construction.
“There’s a lot of people questioning the ability to execute it, and do it in a safe manner. Some of the entrances to the freeway right now have no shoulder area, no run up area, barricades are in the way so you can’t see until you’re in traffic, and there’s nowhere to go once you make that leap onto the freeway, so someone’s going to get killed, and that’s very unfortunate,” Hurwitz said.
Lopez said safety is TxDOT’s number one priority, and they are asking drivers to lower their speeds, and not text while driving. “We ask the driving public to help us where there are construction zones. Nobody likes work zones, the lanes seem a little bit more narrow than usual, and there’s not a whole lot of wiggle room; however, we want to remind folks to please lower your speed, keep your distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and do not be on your phone,” she said.